In a significant development, the Torkham border has witnessed a suspension of commercial activities on both sides following the enforcement of a mandatory visa and passport requirement for cargo vehicle drivers.
Customs officials have confirmed the initiation of the driver’s visa policy starting today, compelling Pakistani authorities to make visas obligatory for truck drivers. Afghan authorities have expressed concern, citing challenges faced by drivers in acquiring visas for their passports, urging for a more lenient approach.
Pakistani authorities have outlined that only vehicles transporting fresh fruits and vegetables will be permitted entry, while those carrying other goods will be denied access to Torkham without the requisite visa. In response, Afghan authorities have reciprocated by halting the entry of trucks carrying fresh produce, anticipating that restrictions on other vehicles will extend to those transporting fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, Afghan officials allege mistreatment of Afghans with POR (Proof of Registration) and ACC (Afghan Citizen Card) in areas like Peshawar’s Nasir Bagh, resulting in blockades and disruptions for thousands of vehicles stranded on both sides of the border. The situation is escalating, causing significant challenges for drivers and impeding the flow of cross-border trade.